Thursday, 4 February 2010

Stranger Than Fiction: improv dance and comedy

I noticed a collective called Stranger Than Fiction probably several month ago. They do improvised dance performance once a month. Last Saturday, finally I managed to go and see their performance in a little modern church in Isligton.

There were three solos for 15 minutes each or so, and a duet for 20 minutes or so. The most remarkable point is that THEY ALL TALKED! It is not too unusual to talk in improvised dance but I would say it is one corner of improvised dance. They talk quite a lot, not only words, lots of lots of sentences. So basically they are telling absurd stories with talk and movement. It's funny. I laugh. But I can feel that the performer is trying to do something interesting so that people don't get bored. This brings me a question.

When I go to an improvised music gig, it seems that they are more going with the flow. They are not afraid of waiting until something comes up.

The approach in Henry's class is also like that. All the improvisers has gone through this kind of slow process for the body so that you can let the body's own intelligence come out.

But when improvisers perform, do they have to be out from the deep state of the body-centred? I don't mean that they have to stay in that state. The state always shifts and we go one to the other even in a second.

In a way, I felt a danger of improvised dance performance becomes comedy. Too much concern of the audience response changes the nature of improvisation.

This is an developing area, and we can try so much.
I feel I need to have a regular platform of improvisation dance, inspired by Amsterdam.
How can I make it happen?

3 comments:

Yumi said...

Very interesting.

I, a musical improvisation practitioner, do not afraid silence. We even have a kind of improvisation style that 'barely heard'. I feel that dancers can do an improvisation performance that they 'barely move'. One sound can say a lot. One slight movement can also say a lot...

Yumi said...

Sorry, I 'am' not, of course.

Katsura Isobe said...

Thanks a lot for your comment, Yumi-san.

Yes I agree with you. It reminds me why I tend to improvise with Butoh dancers though I am not. Their single gesture means a lot, and I do like the philosophy.

Under the name of improvisation, there are so many different roots. It may be important to find people who I can improvise and communicate with.